:death

Forgot to pour a little out for him last night.

I first met W. in Dublin. He was sitting down with a small, smiling crowd around him in the hostel I stayed in. Playing guitar. Singing. I made my way over to the music and took the cup of wine that W. offered  insisted. Then I took the guitar, and he sung blues and Bob Marley.

I didn’t see him much after I left the hostel and moved into my apartment. But once at Sweeney’s; it was reggae night in the dungeon downstairs. “Kinky Reggae”, Marley, was playing. Who do I see, stumbling through the crowd? He barely acknowledges me, but again offers insists that I have a drink. A good, happy guy.

But his Facebook says he died. Just a few days before the posts from family members sharing links to the memorial and explaining the situation, he made a post about feeling sick, maybe from food poisoning.

W. was a young guy. A few years older than me. We weren’t very close, but were friends. I was struck by the news of his death.

Why was I so surprised? As I think about it, I realize it’s partly because our culture shies away from the topic of death. Unless you’re involved in “the battle” against death– long hospital hours, corrosive medicine, grueling treatments– you don’t hear about death except as a sudden tragedy. In truth, death is the only guaranteed assurance from life. If you are alive, you will certainly have death.

And anyways, who is to know what follows from life? Who knows what awaits us in death? We tuck death away from sight; we euphemize it. But it’s coming. Maybe it’s not so bad to realize that it comes. Maybe it gives us some perspective.

There is a certain quiet that comes to me that, after some thinking about it, I can only classify as divine. This sacred silence often comes during meditation, or in the early morning hours, or suddenly, from nowhere. Thinking about death also connects us me this mysterious, divine presence.

In some ways, I think death might be God. The power of death over our lives is absolute. We wouldn’t have life without death. Our lives derive meaning from death. Our motivations stem from death. We fear death. And perhaps only love and acceptance of death can ever bring us peace before our final peace.

 

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Respect

Respect, for finished things.

Sometimes you get caught up. Caught up but then saved at a late minute, reminded by the holy knowledge that you know nothing. Pray we all keep those poignant moments.

I have respect for finished things because they speak for themselves. The finisher of a thing in some ways disappears forever when the thing is finished. The finisher’s good or bad intentions, their pride or shame, all are severed when the product actualizes. It becomes an independent entity. And at that point, out of the finisher’s control, it can really start to teach them.

I thought of a million blog posts. They were all brilliant and they unfolded in perfect calligraphy over my imagination. But after so long the bottom of the page still stared back at me reading “0 WORDS”.

So how much can no amount of a great thing ever be worth? Much less, at least, than some amount of even a mediocre thing.

 

 

Gone

Gone” is one of those words that, after only a little bit of mastication, starts to look and sound weird. All words will, eventually, but “gone” does so particularly quickly.

It’s a strange exercise, isn’t it? To meditate on words until they lose their meaning.

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Fortune

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

What constitutes a fortune?
How do our connotations of the word “fortune” change when we think of the word “fortunate”?
It can be edifying to examine our associations with words, to look at what meaning we ascribe to the words. We breathe life into these words with our emotions and memories, but forget that these words made alive become mirrors.

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Travel writing is a dream job, they say

I bet. It’s no job for me, but I’ll settle for the dream.

Old pictures lying dormant in my camera. Like skeletons in a closet, but friendly skeletons. I was a technological Indiana Jones digging them up. Did the whole thing– removed the SD card, wrapped it in an alcohol wipe and inserted the clothed memory chip into the laptop’s slot to remove dirt, restarted…what a process.

Luckily, I don’t take many pictures, so there was little to sort through.

Here we go.
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